Hyundai Motor Chairman’s prison term suspended

The prison term of the Chairman of Hyundai Motor, Chung Mong-koo, has been suspended again. Last year, Chung was convicted of embezzlement and breach of trust.

The new sentence was issued by the Seoul High Court Tuesday after the Supreme Court ruled the previous one should be reconsidered.

The three-year prison term handed down on the chairman of Hyundai Motor was suspended in 2007. The term was suspended for five years, whereas the official was ordered to do community service. However, prosecutors appealed to the Supreme Court, and the case was sent back to the high court to be reconsidered.

Chung Mong-koo (b. March 19, 1938 in Seoul ) is the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. He graduated from Hanyang University in 1967. In 1999, he took over as head of Hyundai, succeeding his father and founder Chung Ju-yung. In 2000, he attracted widespread attention when he defied his father Chung Ju-yung's order to step down. He was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top managers for 2004.

In 2006, he and his family were targeted by the Seoul Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office as part of an investigation into embezzeling 100 billion won ($106 million USD) from Hyundai to create slush funds. Despite a travel ban, Chung left South Korea in April 2006. Chung was arrested on 28 April 2006 on charges related to embezzlement and other corruption He was convicted of embezzlement and breach of fiduciary duty on 5 February 2007 and sentenced to three years of prison. Chung plans to appeal the sentence and remains free on bail. On September 6, 2007, Chief judge Lee Jae-Hong ruled to suspend the sentence of Chung Mong-koo (in consideration of the huge economic impact of imprisonment), ordering instead of a 3-year jail term, the performance of community service and a $1 billion donation to charity.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team